Seeking to reduce its debts, the Barry-Lawrence Ambulance District Board of Directors voted at its March meeting to spend $100,000 in 2010 on its bank loan to pay for the ambulance station in Monett.
The district completed payments on its ambulances in 2009. Without having payments to make, board members took a hard look at the building debt. The 2010 payment would cover $20,000 on the principle and $16,675 in interest.
Board member Rick Vanderpool proposed spending $100,000 from property tax revenues, the approximate amount spent last year on vehicles, toward the building. The total represents around half of the bi-county property tax total.
The motion passed on a 5-1 vote. Howard Kuhnert opposed the motion. Voting in favor were Vanderpool, Daryl Fenski, Marty Newman, Ashley Anderson and Mike Bennett.
In other financial action, the board approved paying the $12,022 premium for worker's compensation insurance through Missouri Rural Services for the year. Board members agreed to put worker's comp insurance out for bid next year.
A total of 279 unpaid bills to customers totaling $142,922.89 from 2007 were written off. Office Manager Jeaneittia Pierce said the amount was in line with what the district has done in the past. Historically, bad debts have not always been written off annually. Board members agreed to seek bids for collection services for 2011.
Crews made 186 runs in January, up 18 from 2009, and 171 in February, down 25 from the previous year.
The January total included 44 patients taken to Cox Monett Hospital, 60 to Springfield hospitals, six to Joplin hospitals, two to the Carthage hospital, six to St. John's Hospital-Aurora, eight to St. John's Hospital-Cassville, four to nursing homes and three to patients' homes.
In February, crews took 49 patients to Cox Monett Hospital, 63 to Springfield hospitals, 10 in Joplin hospitals, three to St. John's Hospital-Aurora and four to St. John's Hospital-Cassville. Crews also took nine patients to nursing homes, five to helicopter landing zones and two to their homes.
Crews picked up six runs in January and four in February from other services. When both on-duty ambulances were busy, three calls were turned over to other services in January and two in February.
Serious gains were made on overtime payments in January. In addition to 320 hours of scheduled overtime, less than two hours of excess overtime were paid. February was more typical, where the district paid nearly 104 hours of excess overtime in addition to 320 scheduled hours.
Andy McCaslin reported teaching three CPR classes in January. Eleven people received CPR and first aid certificates. Three were certified with heart saver CPR and one got a healthcare provider CPR. In February, McCaslin taught one CPR class, out of which two people received heart saver certification.
One CPR class and one first aid class for the community were scheduled for March. Refresher classes in driving and paramedics skills are also planned.
The board will meet next at 7 p.m. on April 13 at the ambulance station, located at 307 Dairy in Monett.